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Title: Acoustic emission source studies of microcracking in rock.
Author: Pettitt, William S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3486 1667
Awarding Body: University of Keele
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1998
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Acoustic emissions (AEs) are generated as a result of the creation of, or movement on microcracks in a rock mass. Hypocentres of AEs have been used as a very effective method of visualising the extent (amount and location) of microcrack damage. Studies have used AE locations to investigate both the behaviour of rock failure in laboratory experiments, and to evaluate damage in the Excavation Disturbed Zone (EDZ) around underground openings. The latter has particular significance for the safe storage of nuclear materials in deep underground facilities. Because AEs represent phenomena associated directly with the physical processes occurring in microcracking, then they can also be used to evaluate the fundamental mechanics of the failure. In this thesis a moment tensor (MT) inversion procedure is developed for AEs. This utilises full-waveform records from an array of ultrasonic piezoelectric transducers distributed around the rock mass. The procedure is tested using synthetic amplitudes and is shown to be robust even with high amplitude uncertainties. The inversion is particularly good at resolving the volumetric component in the source. The procedure allows a precise and well-constrained analysis of the forces that are creating the AEs, and, in some cases, that are actually creating the damage. The mechanics can then be related to the stress field in the rock mass, or can be compared to results from dynamic micromechanical models. Three case studies are performed. Two of these investigate the fundamental behaviour of microcracking in the laboratory. A series of laboratory tests are conducted using polyaxial stress to study the mechanics of damage under realistic in situ stress paths. The third case study investigates the mechanics of failure operating in the EDZ. AEs are shown to be truly scaled earthquakes although with often-complex non-double-couple mechanisms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Moment tensor; Excavation Distributed Zone